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21 years in one article – pt2

Greg Devine


part birthday celebration with beer pinata and drinks

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21 years in one article – pt2


I’ve just celebrated my 21st birthday, which is a big deal to someone of my age. I’m officially an adult. It’s fair to say that a lot has happened in my 21 years on Earth, and I wrote Part One of this article to highlight some of the world events that made the biggest impact on me as I grew up.


Here’s a rundown of significant events that occurred during the latter part of my childhood.


2011 – Minecraft is released

The bestselling game of all time—I don’t really need to say much more. To this day, Minecraft remains incredibly popular. For many gamers, it may have been the first video game they ever played. Minecraft, along with titles such as EA Sports FIFA and Mario Kart, were the games I played the most during my childhood, which is why I couldn’t even dream of missing them off this list.


2012 – London Olympics

I was incredibly lucky to experience the London Olympics first-hand. It was the first time I’d ever been to London, and though I was relatively young at the time, I have vivid memories. The Olympic Park was incredible, and the atmosphere was incomparable to anything I’ve experienced before or since. Whilst there, we watched the hockey, though I still don’t understand its rules.


2013 – Grand Theft Auto 5 is released

I’m sorry to focus on another video game, but this really was the game of my teenage years. I don’t even want to think about the number of hours my friends and I sunk into this game—it would probably be in the thousands. The game ended up being released on three generations of consoles, starting with the Xbox 360 and PS3, then the Xbox One, the PS4 and PC, before finally being released on Xbox series x/s and PS5. It provided plenty of great memories for me.


2014 – Brazil World Cup

This is the first World Cup I can remember; before then, I wasn’t too interested in football. England’s performance was awful—they didn’t even make it to the knockout stages. Despite this, I would still say the Brazilian World Cup is my favourite of all similar tournaments. Seeing Messi in his prime almost winning it for Argentina only to fall to Germany in the final was iconic, as was the 7-1 battering Brazil faced at the hands of Germany on their own soil.


2015 – Troubles in the Islamic State

Unfortunately, acts of terrorism dominated this year. Islamic State began taking over Iraq and Syria, destroying cities on what seemed like a weekly, if not daily, basis. There’s not much more to say about this; it was not a great year for world news.


2016 – The UK votes to leave the EU

The outcome of the referendum will affect my life forever, yet it wasn’t a choice my peers and I got to make. At this moment in time, it looks like voters may have made a terrible mistake, but maybe, when I’m in my forties, I’ll look back on it with gratitude (though I doubt it). It prompted David Cameron’s resignation, which began the Conservative Prime Minister merry-go-round we’re still enduring today.


2017 – Terror Attacks on UK soil

For me, this was when the threat of terrorism began to feel very real. Firstly, the Manchester Arena bombing, in which young girls were specifically targeted. Sadly, 23 people were killed at this event, and more than a thousand injured. In school, we were subsequently taught lockdown procedures and how to keep ourselves safe if a terror incident occurred. Not long after came the London Bridge attacks; these killed eight people and injured 48. In truth, this was a really scary year that split the country even further, following the Brexit result.


2018 – GDPR

New privacy regulations were brought in during 2018. I’m sure, to many people, GDPR is an acronym that carries negative connotations, but I take my privacy seriously and think it’s incredibly important for all of us. Thanks to the different courses and apprenticeships I’ve attended, I’ve become quite familiar with GDPR practices–I’ve certainly sat enough exams on the subject.


2019 – Boris Johnson

When BoJo first became Prime Minister, he was somewhat liked; however, his tenure certainly didn’t end in the same way. After Theresa May resigned (something Conservative PMs love to do), he was chosen ahead of Jeremy Hunt, who had no chance of being in the role. Boris will always divide opinion; mine is not a positive one.


Covid 19 vaccine in front of a UK flag

2020 – Covid

Was there a bigger, more impactful world event during 2020 than the pandemic?! I have such contrasting memories of the height of the Covid crisis. Lockdowns weren’t too bad for me personally; they always seemed to coincide with it being sunny, and the way it united the country was something I’d never experienced before. The rule of six was honestly one of the best times of my life…spending time in the pub meeting new people every day. On the other hand, far too many lives were lost, including that of my grandad. Rest in peace, Bill, I hope I’m making you proud.


2021 – A return to some form of normality

This represented the best year of my life, easily. I was in a happy relationship, I enjoyed my first ever holiday without my parents and I experienced festivals for the first time. I also started my placement at Novus and ITK, which I still love to this day. There was also the Euros, where England reached the final before they sadly lost out to Italy. 2021 may be beaten at some point, but it’s a year I’ll forever cherish.


2022 – Who knows?

So, we’ve reached present day. My summer was amazing once again, but very different in comparison to that of the previous year. In this year, I started university at Newcastle, which I’m mostly loving, as I’m learning how to become an independent adult. I must admit, hitting 21 feels a little sad, because it marks the end of my childhood; however, it’s the beginning of a new chapter in my life, one I’m very much looking forward to.

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